The foods you love can cause your teeth to look dull and yellow. Coffee, tea and wine may darken your tooth enamel, but even foods that teeth whiteningare good for you, like blueberries, can cause staining. Fortunately, teeth whitening can erase unattractive stains. Wheaton, IL, dentists Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling share some information about the whitening process.

How does teeth whitening work?

Teeth whitening removes stains with hydrogen peroxide, a very effective natural stain remover. The chemical penetrates tiny pores in tooth enamel where stains lurk and breaks up the pigments, leaving your teeth brighter and whiter. Although hydrogen peroxide is found in both over-the-counter and professional whitening gels, dentists use much stronger formulations of hydrogen peroxide for more impressive results.

It may take weeks or months to notice even a slight difference in your smile if you use drugstore whitening kits. Professional whitening offers a simpler solution. You'll only need to spend an hour at our Wheaton office to experience a three- to eight-shade improvement in your teeth. Take-home whitening trays are also available for at-home whitening and touch-ups.

What types of stains does whitening eliminate?

Teeth whitening gets rid of stains caused by foods and beverages that contain dark pigments. In addition to coffee and berries, other staining culprits include cola, sports drinks, popsicles and soy sauce. Whitening also removes tobacco stains. Although whitening is very effective in eliminating these stains, it won't have an effect on dental restorations, such as crowns and bridges.

What happens during teeth whitening?

Preparation is a particularly important step in the whitening process. Before your treatment begins, your teeth will be professionally cleaned to remove plaque and tartar, then your lips and cheeks will be gently pulled back from your teeth with retractors. A special gel will also be applied to protect your gums and roots. After the whitening gel is applied to your teeth, they'll be exposed to the ZOOM Whitespeed light, which will enhance the effects of bleaching.

Make over your smile with teeth whitening! Call Wheaton, IL, dentists Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling at (630) 653-9002 to schedule your appointment.

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